Common painkillers could cause pain to your brain! – Issue 63

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

Recent medical research claimed daily use of common painkillers could help protect your brain function as you age. But new evidence suggests just the OPPOSITE could be true!

What’s worse, prolonged use of one of the most popular painkillers has been linked to heart damage!

If you want to protect your mind… your heart… and your entire body from damage—today’s Monday Edition of Health News Weekly™ is a MUST READ!

Common Painkillers Useless for
Preventing Mental Decline

Layne Lowery

You might have heard that painkillers could be “good medicine” for helping to preserve healthy brain function. Well, new research shows Celebrex® and naproxen are useless at preventing cognitive decline—particularly in people with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease!

What’s more, the findings suggest daily use of naproxen—known by the brand names Aleve® and Naprosyn®—may cause MORE harm to brain function!

Both Celebrex® and naproxen belong to a drug class called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Results from previous studies led scientists to speculate about the role of NSAIDs in relieving inflammation in brain tissue sometimes seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Participants in the new study included 2,117 men and women over the age of 70 with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. The patients received either 1) 200 milligrams of Celebrex® twice a day, 2) 220 milligrams of naproxen twice a day, or 3) a placebo.

None of the participants had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia at the beginning of the study in March 2001.

Researchers performed annual tests of the participants’ cognitive function. But the drug therapy was stopped in December 2004 when another study found an elevated risk of heart problems in people taking Celebrex®.

When the research team performed tests to measure cognitive function—they found that people taking naproxen or Celebrex® tended to produce lower overall scores on these tests than men and women taking the placebo.

In a HealthDay report, Barbara Martin, an investigator on the trial and assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, said “the drugs we studied did not seem to improve cognitive function and, if anything, there was some weak evidence for a detrimental effect.”

Martin said the research team does not recommend taking NSAIDs for the purpose of preventing Alzheimer’s or cognitive decline.

The investigators said the different results in this trial compared with previous research may have to do with how the study was designed. Or they said the new study results may apply only to Celebrex® and naproxen and not to other painkillers such as ibuprofen.

The scientists also said NSAIDs may only provide protection when given much earlier. However, experts are still unclear about the best time to start using the drugs.

Fast Fact

The herbal laxatives senna and sagrada are two of the best choices if you’ve ever experienced the bloating and discomfort of constipation. Even if you consume enough fiber, you still may need to add these natural stimulants. They can help boost the colon-cleansing benefits of the fiber in your diet!

Could Air Pollution Cause Dangerous Blood Clots?

Roz Roscoe

It appears that smoggy air and toxic fumes may do just as much damage to your LEGS as to your lungs!

New study findings suggest long-term exposure to tiny molecules in polluted air seems to increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This causes blood clots in your thighs and legs that choke blood circulation—and put you at risk for a serious health disaster.

Previous research investigated the link between heart attacks, strokes and air pollution. But according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) statement this breakthrough research marks the first time anyone has connected air pollution with DVT.

Dr. Andrea Baccarelli led the study while at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is now an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Milan.

Baccarelli’s team included scientists at the Milan Policlinico Hopsital and the University of Milan in Italy. The research was supported by NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Italian funding agencies.

The research team examined the effects of air pollutants smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter. Particles of this size are commonly found in car exhaust&mdah;especially diesel engines—and from burning coal and other fossil fuels.

Study participants included 870 residents of the Lombardy region of Italy who had been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis. The investigators compared this group with 1,210 area residents who did not have this condition.

Researchers found the risk of deep vein thrombosis increased by a whopping 70 percent every time the pollutants increased by 10 micrograms per square meter! And various blood tests showed that people more exposed to pollution formed clots quicker.

The scientists said more studies will be needed to fully assess the risk for DVT and other health risks associated with microscopic air pollutants.

The findings were published in the May 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Health E-Hints

Say “Nuts” to Growing Older!

Research shows selenium is a nutrient that helps boost your immune responses and may slow the aging process. A rich source of the trace mineral is found in Brazil nuts—with the average nut containing about 70 micrograms.

When you take into account consuming a handful of Brazil nuts, this is MORE than the average recommended daily amount, which is anywhere from 55 to 200 micrograms according to most nutritional guides. So, adding Brazil nuts to your diet each day could be a healthy step in your anti-aging plan!